Birth Control Pills And How To Prevent Pregnancy

Birth control is the use of pills, methods, medicines, or devices to prevent pregnancy. Birth control can help people decide when they want to have children. Varieties of the are available to choose from the one most convenient for you such as the birth control pills.  
Pills, abstinence, condom, IUCD
Various birth control methods illustrated in a diagram

Birth control pills.

The birth control pills are taken orally by women to prevent pregnancy. However, when taken correctly, it’s effectiveness is up to 99.9%. Birth control pills are a kind of medicine with hormones that you take every day to prevent pregnancy. There are many different brands of birth control pills. The pills are safe, affordable, and also effective if you always take it on time.  However it does not offer protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But, abstinence and condom offers protection to both pregnancy and STIs including HIV/AIDS.

How Does the Birth Control Pills Work?

The hormonal contraceptive contain a small amount of man-made oestrogen and progesterone hormones which works to inhibit the body’s natural cyclical hormones to prevent pregnancy. The hormonal contraceptive prevents pregnancy by stopping the body from ovulating. Hormonal contraceptives also change the cervical mucus to make it difficult for the sperm to go through the cervix and find an egg.
Pills, methods and devices that are more effective
Effective birth control pills, methods and devices.

What is combined oral pill?

It is a small birth control pill which contains two synthetic hormones similar to the oestrogen and progesterone produced by the female reproductive organs which control the menstrual cycle. It is the most effective methods of all temporal methods of birth control. There are different types of the combined pills.

How to take the combined oral pill

There are two types of the combined oral pill packs – 28 day pack and 21 day pack which are usually three in a box. Take one pack check the expiry date. On one side are the pills and on the other side are printed arrows which may show you the directions in which you should take the pills from the pack.
  • On the first day of your monthly bleeding take the first pill as shown by the arrow.
  • Follow the arrow on the pack
  • Take one pill a day at the same time every day until the pack is finished.
  • To avoid forgetting associate the taking of the pill with a daily task such as morning or evening meals.
  • Take the pill at regular time in order to maintain a constant level of the drug in the system
  • Use a backup method during the first month to allow the hormones to reach the peaks for effectiveness.
  • Report any abnormalities detected.

What are the danger signs associated with taking the pill?

There are five warning signs which are abbreviated as ACHES
  • Abdominal pain which is severe
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Headaches that are severe and migraine
  • Eye problems; blurred or double vision
  • Severe pains in one leg.

What Are Mini Pills?

They are birth control pills which contains only one hormone progestin (progesterone). It is also effective as the combined pill. It is safer for women who should avoid the combined pill and also a better choice for women who are breastfeeding because it does not cause a decrease in the breast milk production. NB; It is usually of the same colour unlike the combined pill where the 21 tablets have the same colour and continuing 7 days of another colour.  Its use is the same as that of the combined pill above.

How Do Mini Pills Work?

Mini pills work by thickening the cervical mucus so the sperm cannot reach the egg. The hormone in the pills also changes the lining of the uterus, so that implantation of a fertilized egg is much less likely to occur. In some cases, mini pills prevent the release of an egg. A pill is once a day.

What If I Forget to Take a Birth Control Pill?

If you forget to take birth control pills, take it as soon as you remember. When you don’t remember until the next day, go ahead and take two pills that day. If you forget to take your pills for two days, take two pills the day you remember and two pills the next day. You will then be back on schedule. If you miss more than two pills, call your doctor. You may be told to take one pill daily until Sunday then start a new pill pack or to discard the rest of the pill pack and start over with a new pack that same day.

When can i start using the mini pill?

  • Six weeks after delivery
  • After menstrual period resumes
  • When baby is 6 months old
  • Immediately baby starts taking complementary foods
  • In the first week after a second trimester miscarriage or abortion

Are There Side Effects of Birth Control Pills?

Yes, there are side effects of birth control pills, although the majority are not serious. Side effects include:
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Sore or swollen breasts
  • Small amounts of blood, or spotting, between periods
  • Lighter periods
  • Mood changes

Are there any hormonal injectables?

There hormonal birth controls which are preparations in the form of injection. It contains only progesterone. It is in the form of aqueous solution which is white in colour. It’s given every 3 months, 2 months and monthly.

How does the injectables work?

It prevents pregnancy by stopping or suppressing ovulation, changing the lining of the uterus and producing thick cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to penetrate.  

About felclinic 593 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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